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Every office move is a critical time for an information technology department. Unsuccessful office relocations can mean work disruption, angry clients and lost billings. Successful moves, on the other hand, will go unnoticed by your clients. Office moves can also be a good opportunity to revisit your IT infrastructure, and ensure that your technology is ready to meet the future needs of your firm. Venable recently relocated our D.C. office to our new flagship facility at Terrell Place on 7th Street, N.W. The move took place during the last two weekends of September 2003. More than 290 employees moved on the first weekend, with the remaining 195 employees moving on the second weekend. And being a law firm, all systems absolutely needed to be 100 percent available on both Monday mornings following the moves. More than two years of IT planning went into the new office infrastructure, and a multimillion-dollar budget was earmarked with the goal of performing a seamless office relocation and preparing our network for future growth and emerging technologies. Every successful project begins with a complete and accurate identification of requirements. Our office relocation project began with a definition of the firm’s growth estimates. The investment in the infrastructure needed to allow for 10 years’ growth. We were able to identify the firm’s growth factor by taking the current rate of growth and the amount of resources each user consumes (the user’s footprint), and extrapolating that data out 10 years. This data was used to set the requirements for the data center, network and cabling plant. Furthermore, system availability and uptime desires were evaluated. Using our growth metrics, the data center requirements were determined. To discern our space, power and cooling requirements, we multiplied the current number of servers by our growth factor. This allowed us to appropriately size our air-conditioning system, battery backup and generator, and the square footage of our data center to allow for 10 years worth of growth. Establishing an architecture that can scale for 10 years’ growth can be quite a challenge. Determining the network requirement for unknown, future applications is impossible, but based off of current trends, we were able to make several assumptions:

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